Exerted effort and performance in climbing among boys: the influence of achievement goals, perceived ability, and task difficulty.


  • Sarrazin Philippe
  • Roberts Glyn C.
  • Cury François
  • Biddle Stuart
  • Famose Jean-Pierre


  • Achievement motivation
  • Goals
  • Ego
  • Task
  • Effort
  • Climbing

document type



In achievement contexts such as sport, achievement goal theory assumes that an individual's major concern is to demonstrate competence. However, competence may be expressed in two ways: as task and ego involvement (Nicholls, 1989). Seventy-eight boys (M age = 13.6 years) performed five climbing courses, and the influence of achievement goals, perceived ability, and task difficulty on effort and performance was studied. According to the achievement goal theory: (a) task-involved boys exerted more effort and performed better than ego-involved boys; and (b) exerted effort was determined by an interaction of one's achievement goal, perceived ability (PA), and task difficulty. Ego-high PA boys and task-low PA boys exerted the most effort on the moderate course; ego-low PA boys exerted least effort on the moderate and very difficult courses. Finally, task-high PA boys exerted more effort on the most difficult courses. The motivational processes underlying these findings are discussed.

more information